Brixton artists organise art fundraiser for Freedom charity

Soundsytem by Fiona Hwathorn
Soundsystem, by Fiona Hawthorn, is one of the artworks to be auctioned

A group of artists have set up a fundraising project in Brixton to support the work of Freedom Charity who were asked by three women held as “slaves” for over 30 years to rescue them last year.

The main fundraising event is an art auction being held this Friday (March 14), at the venue Brixton East.  The organisers, Breakout Brixton, are delighted with the response from local artists, DJs, restaurants, breweries and individuals who have been generous enough to donate prizes.

One artist who has donated her work, and who wants to remain anonymous, said: “I was held as a slave for a number of years, being beaten, and all my basic human rights were stolen from me.  Freedom gave me back my life. I have never been allowed even to attempt art before now.  I’m so excited to be part of this art show.  Art now is helping me heal.”

Another member of Breakout Brixton, Imogen Greenhalgh, said: “I think Freedom Charity is outstanding because it offers people a vital lifeline, and gives them back their voice. It refuses to neglect even those that are most invisible.  I believe others should support Freedom because it reminds us that slavery isn’t just something you learn about in history lessons. It survives with the same insidious power it has always had.”

Nelson Mandela head by Sandra McDonagh
Nelson Mandela head by Sandra McDonagh

A spokesperson for Breakout Brixton said: “We are fundraising to give back to this “kitchen table” charity to help them continue to tackle this awful, chillingly local, and what we believe to be overlooked issue. We want to thank Freedom Charity who saved these three slaves in an area many of us live and for making London more aware of this issue”.

Aneeta Prem, founder of Freedom Charity, said: “Our wholehearted thanks go to Breakout Brixton for helping Freedom Charity. We have been completely inundated by calls and their support is really encouraging.  London saying “we care and want to support”, is the overwhelming message I am receiving. The auction of art is open to all.”

Freedom Charity is a pioneer in the UK aiming to protect the lives of children and young people by raising awareness of forced marriage, dishonour-based violence and slavery, giving young people the tools and confidence to deal with these problems. Freedom Charity received the distress call from one of the three women in Brixton and, together with the Met Police, orchestrated their rescue.